By Angel Kane
Wilson Living Magazine
“Have you thought about living in Chicago? I had a friend from high school who went to University of Chicago and she loved it. Or what about Baylor, my cousin’s daughter went there.”
I try not to make eye contact with Brody when I bring up far away colleges, because if looks could kill, his would be stoning me to death, one eyeball at a time.
“Stop telling Madi to move a million miles away from us. She may never come back!” he whispers (in his loud voice) anytime I bring up any college where she can’t come home for dinner.
I, on the other hand, think college is the perfect time to spread your wings, experience new places and meet new people…well, that’s what I like to say to the other mothers …sounds very grown up, don’t you think?
But as we drove through the college gates for our first official college visit, four hours away from home, I almost burst out crying. And I don’t cry. Ever. So I was a little confused as to that suspicious lump in my throat followed by my blurred vision.
‘Am I having a stroke?’ was my first thought.
And then I went from a stroke to hearing voices in my head. Voices that sounded just like my own, shouting out…“but I’m not finished! My time is up with her? How can that be, we just got started!”
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t doubt for a minute that she is ready. Having seen her in action this summer, campaigning side by side with her Dad, from one end of Gainesboro, to the other end of Westmoreland and back to Mt. Juliet, I know she will be fine. More than fine.
But at this point, her going away to college has become about me.
As we went on the tour from one building to the other, I thought about all the things I meant to do, meant to say…
I don’t think I’ve ever played an entire game of Monopoly with her. I’ve racked my brain and can’t think of any game, in fact, that I’ve ever finished with her. I hate to play games and she really loves them. She is so like her Dad in that way. Does that make me a bad Mom?
And there are all those dinners around the kitchen table I envisioned… there were too few of those, especially as life got busier with work and two younger siblings. From now on, I’m cooking every night until she moves away! Note to self, start going to the grocery again.
We did go prom dress shopping, twice in fact, but she found both her dresses at the first shop we went to, within the first half hour, so it was so quick I barely remember it. She was always such an easy child. Made my job effortless.
Do you think it’s too late for me to let her be messy? I was one of those Moms who never liked a mess in the house. If she wanted to finger paint or play with play dough, it was always on the back porch. Is that why she isn’t interested in the arts and considers being outside to be a form of torture?
I did teach her what make-up you can buy at your local drugstore and what types are best to splurge on, but did I tell her that less is more? I think I did, or maybe she just figured it out on her own.
Fix-a-Flat. Does she know about that? Maybe I should buy her a taser. She knows to always have her keys out as she walks to her car, but have I told her that if someone abducts you, to never let them take you to a second location? And definitely always punch them in the throat and run. We should practice that before she leaves.
“Your will shall decide your destiny” is one of my favorite quotes but so is, “Awesome things will happen today if you choose not to be a miserable cow” – I wonder which will work better embroidered on a pillow for her dorm room?
Does she remember those times we baked Christmas cookies? I never could get the icing to harden but the white snowman cookies were still the bomb. And that Halloween ghost cake, we made that at least three years in a row. Hopefully I’ve taught her that icing can cover a number of baking sins.
There are just so many things that I meant to say, meant to teach her, meant to do with her and instead, here I am on a tour that is taking my Madi away.
I looked at Brody as he was watching Madi peruse the t-shirts in the college bookstore. When she found one she liked and handed it to him, he blurted out “You want to buy one with this school’s name on it? That’s such a big commitment! We just started looking at colleges! Why don’t you buy a magnet or something like that?”
Geez… he seriously needs to get a grip!